Omnium Gatherum - New World Shadows review
|Album:||New World Shadows|
|Release date:||February 2011|
03. New World Shadows
04. Soul Journeys
05. Nova Flame
06. An Infinite Mind
07. Watcher Of The Skies
08. The Distance
09. Deep Cold
I know, very few albums deserve the rating you can see on the left, but trust me, I could only think of two or three more that would. Omnium Gatherum have showed me another dimension of metal music that is both strange and awesome. New World Shadows cannot be compared to other bands or albums. Of course I could name a few out of the melodic death and gothenburg genre, but even if I would, one could not even think of how this record sounds like. People have to listen to it, there is no other way to explain the music, since it is that complex and original. Hailing from Finland, Omnium Gatherum created their final breakthrough with New World Shadows, a nine-song album that runs for about 52 minutes.
I think the best way to describe this album is to do it by its single parameters and instruments, because there are especially three things what make this album new and unique. At first, the keyboards are not as much in the foreground as usual and do not often play the lead melodies. They rather work as a foundation together with the bass and the vocals. Yes, this marks the second special, the vocals growled by Jukka Pelkonen. His voice is very deep and his tone does not often change, that is why his vocals often work like a rhythm guitar. Where his vocals are missing, like in the wonderful instrumental "Watcher Of The Skies," a second guitar fills the gap, which is not always there during sung parts. And now we have reached the third aspect, we only have one guitar player in Omnium Gatherum. His name is Markus Vanhala and he is the mastermind of all the music. It is mainly his lead guitar riffing that dances above the base of drums, bass, keyboards and vocals.
The guitar riffs reach from edged dissonance to catchy and harmonious anthems. Especially the palm muted melodies like in "Soul Journeys" contain both aspects at the same time. Concerning the vocals one can hear that although they sound dark like hell itself they still contain harmony in it and a dignified character. This may be a result of either technique or talent, but in any case makes me say that Jukka Pelkonen has the only death metal voice that I could think of in an opera because of its glorious sound.
Overall this album has it all and shows it all. Omnium Gatherum have turned the way of songwriting in melodeath and show a new style that foreshadows like a new world. It builds from a heavy and dark foundation, contains vocals that sound better than a human could do and guitar melodies dancing above the atmosphere. Sounds like your usual gothenburg metal? It is not! Originality is the keyword of New World Shadows and every second is worthy. Some may laugh but I think others do understand when I call this a new era and say: Welcome to the death metal opera!
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| Ace Frawley
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